It’s no secret that one of the best ways to develop a child’s interest in music is to buy them a musical instrument.
However, while it isn’t a given that kids who play instruments will someday become professional musicians, your child may gain a lifelong hobby. And a suitable instrument like a ukulele that sounds good and is easy to handle may increase that likelihood.
This article reveals the 7 best ukulele for kids. I think the Kala KA-15S ukulele is the best in show, but read on to draw your conclusion.
The 7 Best Ukuleles for Kids in 2022
Now, let’s check out each of these instruments to find out what makes them among the best ukuleles for kids.
1. Kala KA-15S Mahogany Soprano – Best Overall (4.8/5 stars)
Want to get your child a beginner ukulele they can use to learn all the basics? If so, consider getting them a Kala KA-15S.
Kala ukuleles don’t slouch in the build quality department, and the KA-15S continues that trend: this ukulele is the complete package of solid wood construction, appealing design, and affordable price tag. It’s got a mahogany neck and body, which help with the ukulele’s acoustics by giving it a deep bass sound.
Moreover, the KA-15S is an excellent starter ukulele because it reinforces learning through frets with marked positions. So your child gets to work their way up through twelve marked frets, which, by the way, contrast nicely with the ukulele’s mahogany body.
Okay, so the KA-15S looks great, but how does it sound? Well, the ukulele’s geared tuners will give your child more incentive to pick up and play due to how they keep the instrument from going out of tune.
Incidentally, it can be difficult for younger kids to keep practicing when an instrument hurts their fingers. However, the KA-15S comes with Aquila Nylgat strings, which are known to be kind to the fingers.
If there was one thing I could change about this ukulele, it’s the size. The KA-15S’s 23-inch length is bigger than the traditional ukulele size, so smaller kids may find it challenging to play. Other than that, this ukulele is a fantastic choice for beginners and experienced players alike.
- Comfortable strings
- Marked fret positions
- Might be too big for smaller kids
2. Mahalo Ukuleles MR1PP Rainbow Series Soprano – Runner-Up (4.5/5 stars)
Let’s be honest: before your child will care about how their new ukulele sounds, they’ll be more interested in its appearance. Luckily, the Mahalo MR1PP Rainbow Series Soprano Ukulele makes a great first impression!
Quick question: do you know your child’s favorite color? This ukulele probably comes in that hue, which is fantastic for making the instrument feel more personal. In addition to coming in rainbow colors, this uke sports cute dolphin-shaped geared tuners, adding a quirky touch to a minimalistic design.
Also, when your child gets past the uke’s looks and sits down to play, they won’t feel discomfort while plucking at the Aquila Nylgut strings. The ukulele’s NuBone XB Bridge saddle adds to the Aquila strings’ comfort while helping the instrument produce a beautiful sound.
Mahalo includes a downloadable lesson by Ukulele Bartt, so if your child hasn’t played the ukulele before, they can watch and learn from a master. Of course, you win, too, as the 45-minute video will save you a trip (and money) to ukulele classes for kids while keeping your little ones busy.
One thing I must mention is this ukulele is strictly for beginners. So, unfortunately, your child can’t continue using this ukulele as they age.
- Available in multiple colors
- Comfortable Aquila strings
- Downloadable lessons included
- Not suitable for advanced students
3. Pomaikai Soprano Wood – Best for Beginners (4/5 stars)
Many qualities make the Pomaikai Soprano Wood Ukulele the best for beginners. First, this uke comes with nylon strings, meaning they’ll feel great underneath your child’s fingers when plucked.
Secondly, the Pomaikai ukulele’s compact size makes it lightweight, which is crucial for proper handling by children. Third, the Pomaikai soprano is a ukulele model that sports fifteen tuning gears, which speeds up the tuning process.
Moreover, this ukulele also sports a smooth hardwood fingerboard that provides a painless learning experience. So when your child tunes the ukulele, it’ll stay tuned for weeks, if not months.
Also, Pomaikai ukuleles come with a 12-month warranty, which will come in handy for replacing the ukulele if it’s damaged while your child builds proficiency. And your child can pick their favorite hue from the assorted colors it’s sold in.
My only criticism is the ukulele’s strings. Yes, your child won’t feel pain when plucking them. However, I think Pomaikai should’ve gone with another material. The nylon isn’t of high quality, and the strings don’t produce a rich-enough sound, adding to the feeling of being a toy ukulele.
- Compact and lightweight ukulele
- Hardwood fingerboard makes learning easier
- Comes with a 12-month warranty
- Nylon strings aren’t of high quality
4. Lohanu Concert – Best for Advanced Players (4/5 stars)
If your child is an experienced ukulele player and you want to upgrade their ukulele to something for advanced players, then the Lohanu Concert Ukulele is worth a look.
Although concert ukuleles aren’t much bigger than soprano types, they produce a nicer sound. So, in addition to being a concert ukulele, the Lohanu ukulele’s wider frets and arched back help it easily maintain concert ukuleles’ high-quality sound standard.
Moreover, this ukulele looks as great as it sounds, as Lohanu built it using excellent materials. Its body and neck are made with a mixture of Sapele and mahogany wood, while its tuning gears are made of a chrome die casting. Meanwhile, the ukulele is wrapped in hand-made bindings, adding to the high-quality aesthetics.
As a bonus, the Lohanu comes with accessories including a digital tuner (with batteries included), a sturdy bag, two plastic picks, extra Aquila strings, and a paracord ukulele holder, to name a few.
Lohanu provides an unconditional lifetime warranty, which is fantastic if you hope your child keeps playing on into adulthood. And even though this ukulele is meant for more experienced players, it also comes with online video lessons for beginners. So it’s a great addition if you have a younger, inexperienced child interested in the ukulele.
In my opinion, this ukulele could benefit from lower positioned strings. Unfortunately, the strings are too high off the fretboard, which can sometimes make playing uncomfortable.
- Excellent ukulele for advanced players
- Comes with accessories like a digital tuner
- Made with hand-made bindings
- Strings are positioned too high
5. Diamond Head DU-150 – Best Value (4/5 stars)
The Diamond Head DU-150 is a great-looking ukulele that offers the best value for money on our list. While more affordable ukuleles get a bad wrap for being closer to a toy than a serious instrument, the DU-150 doesn’t fit into that box due to its beautiful build quality.
It’s got a dark mahogany stain with a semi-gloss finish, giving the instrument a vintage look and feel. Meanwhile, its neck and body are made of maple, while the fingerboard is made with hardwood.
This ukulele is a great beginner instrument, thanks to its low silver and nickel frets that make it easier to play. Also, since the strings are made of nylon, your child will have a comfortable experience practicing with this uke.
The DU-150 comes with high-quality tuning machines, making tuning the ukulele a breeze for beginners. Moreover, this ukulele’s guitar-style tuners have a 15:1 gear ratio, adding to the tuning speed.
Also, it comes with a 3-chord chart for easy playing and a sturdy, black nylon gig bag to make carrying it around easier. And when the time comes to replace the four strings on the uke, it’ll be much easier, thanks to the instrument’s easy tie-on bridge.
Unfortunately, I must warn you that you’ll probably have to replace the strings sooner than you think. The ones that come with the DU-150 leave much to be desired sound-wise. Even using a pick to pluck them doesn’t improve the sound.
- High-quality yet reasonably priced
- 3-chord chart included
- Silver and nickel frets for easier playing
- You’ll need to replace the strings
6. Kala Makala Shark Soprano – Best Design (4/5 stars)
I’ve already mentioned how kids love an eye-catching design. The Kala Makala Shark Soprano Ukulele passes the aesthetics test with flying colors, thanks to its unique shark-shaped custom bridge. However, aside from being a beauty to young kids (especially boys), this ukulele is so versatile even adults can use it.
Kala built the Makala Shark with some high-quality materials. In addition to a rosewood fingerboard and neck made with mahogany, it comes with nylon strings. Additionally, you’re not limited to one color, as the ukulele comes in different shades, such as black and green.
Accessories are always a welcome addition to instrument purchases, and the Makala Shark also delivers in this aspect. It comes with a stylish nylon carry bag that makes transporting it hassle-free.
When your child eventually tunes the uke, they can look forward to solid tuning gears that’ll make the process smoother. Also, the low strings emit a beautiful sound when plucked, which is excellent despite their material.
One point of frustration I have with this ukulele is it’s challenging to keep it tuned, meaning your child will have to tune it before every use. But that criticism aside, it’s worth the money and will make a great beginner ukulele for kids.
- Beautifully-designed uke
- Solid tuning gears make tuning easier
- Rosewood fingerboard
- Doesn’t stay tuned for long
7. Luna Tattoo Concert – Best Build Quality (4/5 stars)
Is your child old and skilled enough to appreciate the build quality of a ukulele? If so, they’ll feel right at home playing the Luna Tattoo Concert Ukulele. This beautiful instrument has the highest-quality materials on this list.
Luna Guitars put too much effort into manufacturing this ukulele, and it shows. For example, its body is mahogany, while its strings are bronze. Meanwhile, the fretboard and bridge walnut come with a satin finish, which completes the higher-quality aesthetics.
A massive tattoo adorns the front of the ukulele, with the design drawing inspiration from traditional Hawaiian body ornamentation.
This ukulele sounds as good as it looks and can produce deep bass tones and a beautiful treble sound with tone control. Additionally, you get a lifetime warranty when you buy this ukulele.
Despite how good this ukulele looks and the materials that went into manufacturing it, you’ll need to handle it with care as the wood is a bit thin and can crack if not handled properly.
- Manufactured with the finest materials
- Bronze strings
- Lifetime warranty
- Prone to cracking if not handled well
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Ukulele for Kids
When shopping for a ukulele for your child, you’ll need to consider a couple of factors to make the best choice. They include:
The materials used to build musical instruments determine their sound quality, and ukuleles aren’t an exception to this rule. So whether they’re beginner ukuleles like a soprano uke or concert ukulele, or more advanced instruments like the tenor ukulele, high-quality materials will determine whether the uke produces a richer sound and distinctive tone.
You’ll commonly find higher-end ukuleles made of mahogany wood, with walnut being a close second in terms of wood used to manufacture a high-quality instrument.
However, if you’re on the market for a more budget-friendly option, you can choose a ukulele made with a laminated top. Such ukuleles are excellent for a complete beginner and won’t detract too much from the learning process.
Frets and Tuners
The quality of a ukulele’s frets and tuners are crucial to helping kids get through initial music lessons and on the path to becoming more advanced students.
How many frets a ukulele has (usually 12, for ukuleles meant for kids) and their quality (brass or plastic) determines how easy and pleasant a uke will be to play. Meanwhile, if the ukulele’s tuners are easily adjustable, your child is more likely to stick to playing their instrument, as they can produce richer tones.
Your kid will be more willing to learn to play their ukulele if it’s comfortable to carry around, so the instrument’s size is a huge factor you should consider when making a purchase (along with your child’s age). Ukuleles come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
Soprano ukuleles are the smallest size (21 inches long), making them ideal for small children learning to play their first instrument. Meanwhile, older children may be more comfortable playing concert ukuleles, which are just as beginner-friendly as a soprano ukulele if slightly bigger.
Finally, experienced players will be more comfortable with tenor ukuleles or baritone ukuleles, as these two tend to be larger and unsuitable for a little kid’s fingers.
Children are more likely to gravitate to a ukulele with bright colors and a sleek design. Ukuleles with a standard design share the same shape as an acoustic guitar, but you can also get your little one a more pineapple-shaped ukulele if you think they’ll be extra concerned by their instrument’s aesthetics.
It’s common for parents to get their children a ukulele with a standard design since these instruments tend to be comfortable to hold and play with, so consider getting your child a uke with a traditional shape if you want them to learn to play.
How much you spend on a ukulele should depend on your child’s skill level. For example, if you’re buying for a kid who has experience playing other instruments, they’re more likely to take to the ukulele quicker, so splurging on a more expensive option shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
However, if your child has no experience playing music, you shouldn’t spend too much on a starter instrument. Luckily, there are ukuleles for nearly any budget level, so spend according to your child’s musical ability.h
Your chosen ukulele should come with a warranty. For example, tones that sound like fingers scraping on a chalkboard may not be caused by your child’s musical ineptitude but by manufacturing defects. Therefore, you’ll want to have the option to return or replace a faulty instrument when faced with such a scenario.
Some ukulele manufacturers offer lifetime warranties, while others offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so choose options with such perks if you’re developing a hobby for your child.
So there you have it! The above roundup reveals what I think are the 7 best ukuleles for kids. I think the Kala KA-15S ukulele is the best ukulele you can get for a child. Not only is it a great-looking ukulele, but it’s made with quality materials, sounds good when tuned, and is reasonably priced. For all of the above reasons, I can’t recommend a better option.